Murals: Last Chance For Hercules

Last Chance For Hercules

The black-and-white murals have been hanging in Washington's state legislative building since 1981, but most lawmakers have never seen them. Commissioned at a cost of $100,000, The Twelve Labors of Hercules touched off a storm of complaints over their graphic depictions of what critics called kinky sex and death. To quell the controversy, officials covered the murals with gold- colored drapes in 1982. Meanwhile, artist Michael Spafford filed a lawsuit seeking to bar the removal of his work.

Last December a state superior court ruled that the paintings could be taken down. But house speaker Joseph King believes the artwork deserves...

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